While members of the international coalition that fought to defeat and are now declaring victory over the Islamic State are reveling in their achievement, the Trump administration is warning that the immediate goal for 2018 is to prevent the rise of a new version of the original. Brett McGurk, the president’s Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, told allied governments that the 74-nation US-led coalition will now implement procedures in east Syria and western Iraq, the areas ISIS designated its caliphate [state governed by strict Islamic law] that will prevent an ISIS version 2 from emerging. In a letter to the coalition members, McGurk said, “The US is prepared to remain in Syria until we are certain that ISIS is defeated, stabilization efforts can be sustained, and there is meaningful progress in the Geneva-based political process.”
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